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We are looking forward to next years tourney series and will be making a some changes to the rules so if anyone has any suggestions they would like us to consider let Don or me know. First and most important we want this to be a fun event that is simple to understand so there won't be any complicated rules that we probably can't enforce anyhow.

Things we are looking at changing

Lower the fish scored from 10 to 6 no change in how many you can catch just how many you can weigh to tighten up the competition and so a single bad day won't put you miles behind in points.

Modify the points per fish from 10 per fish to a sliding scale similar to the WMFL and other events similar to us. We will also be looking for sponsors and prizes for best fish in each category.

We are going to change our check in and weigh in procedure to eliminate any issues there and still allow those who slip their boats time to do so.

We set up a rules committee and will have more help and better organization for next year.

We are considering adding a few more events I would like to do 2 in May, 1 in June, 1 in July, 2 in Aug and 1 in September which would add 2 events overall and then leaves us with the idea of letting each boat score their best 5 events for the points championship. This also gives us more room to adjust if we get blown off the lake for a event.

So comments and suggestions are welcome nothing I have outlined is final yet but we will be meeting again some time this month and I am sure we will finalize some if not all of the changes at the meeting.

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Like the ideas so far. I would like to put in my 2cents, I have fished events where you weight your best 5, and that seems to me to be the closed and most even playing field. The teams can get a DNR limit. The best scoring idea I have been part of is just straight up weight, no point for fish and no bonus for fish. I lean towards a everyday fishermens side, as far as biggest cooler wins. I have lost and won in the old ways, so it works. But in the end i think the closer you get to leveling to playing field the better. Because most of us weekend warriors do not care if it is a Laker, Steel, or a Brown we are happy to just out fishing, After all thats is what it is all about.

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We are going to a weigh 6 format catch your limit weigh your best 6. The reason we like different values on fish is because it makes the early spring fishing more diverse. It also gives guys who fish different programs a chance to be competitive. Trying to chase down a box of Browns mid summer is tough and risky if you can do it you should be rewarded. It also means you have to know your fish and think about what to weigh. Rather than just run a King program early then switch to a Lake trout program mid morning to fill the box and pick your biggest fish to weigh. My personal issue is very few people say they fish for Lake Trout except in tournaments and a lot of them just go to waste. Also have several classes of fish give us the ability to offer prizes for the best fish in each species so maybe the 2 guys in a boat can't beat some of us in bigger boats with 4 guys more lines and better gear but they still could go after some of the other prizes like biggest Brown or Steelhead. There is a degree of difficulty involved with them I have fished Muskegon since the late 60's and have never limited on browns. And while there are lots of Steelhead around it often means running miles off shore and getting smaller fish again more risk versus just fishing 80 to 120 on the bottom for Lake trout. We do however still need to get everyone together and with hunting and the holiday approaching that has not happened yet so plenty of time to discuss ideas.

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Jim i have to say i also agree that weight should be the decider. i hate the different points per fish. It should be on total weight for 6 of any fish in your cooler. then a biggest fish in a species. That is why i quit fishing tourneys. I hate the points perfish system. why should a guy with six jacks beat out a cooler total weight of three bigger fish just because of the points per fish.

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Thanks Aaron nothing is written down yet just a bunch of ideas some of them are mine but that to me is not the issue. The points per fish was a suggestion I can see both sides and actually agree with both sides. However when you look at this from all sides there are very few ways to make it fair for everyone. One idea I had was to make it Salmon only at weigh in no points, weight decides but weigh only King Salmon. The points per fish does also add some skill into the event in a no cull tourney as catching the wrong fish can hurt you. What has been mentioned is 5 points per Lake Trout 10 points per King 15 points per Steelhead and 20 points per Brown. Other than the May events the odds that anyone will bring in a full cooler of Browns in Muskegon is rare. Other than fall backs off the river most of the season Steelhead is a long boat ride for smaller fish, in 40 plus years of fishing Muskegon I can't ever remember limiting on browns.

However the point of this post is to get feedback and every ones opinion will factor into the final outcome.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a very productive meeting today ironed out most of the rule changes still have to get the final rewording complete. But in a nut shell so to speak here are most of the changes don't quote me on verbage cause we need to get the final wording done.

first we are dropping the charter captain issue event is open to anyone who wants to enter.

It is still 3 man DNR rules for fishing so no more than 9 rods

We will only weigh 6 fish per team and you must bring only your best 6 to the scale no sorting at the scale. We will try and make the scale available between chk in and weigh in for those who need to sort their fish.

Points per fish will be

5 points for Lake trout

10 points per Salmon

15 points per Steelhead

20 points per Brown Trout

All boats will stage inside the arms for morning check in

Check in will be between 1:00 and 1:30 with weigh in starting at 1:30 Anyone not in line for weigh in at 1:30 will be charged a 2 point per min deduction for up to 15 min or 30 points anyone not there to weigh at 1:45 will be disqualified.

No slipping boats at the launch if you use a slip you must make arrangements to take care of your boat and be on time.

We are working on a protest system This will be ran by Don and Jon and unless they choose to bring it before the committee any decision they make will be final.

We are going to 7 events with a best 5 for the port championship this way having a bad weekend or other commitment will not take you out of the competition.

Tentative dates are with following day being blow date

May 7th

May 21st

Jun 11th

Jul 2nd

Jul 30th

Aug 13th

Aug 27th

Some things we are working on is getting a sponsor and prize package for big fish of each species for the season. Anyone interested in sponsorship should contact me or Don aka Fishsniffer

Looking forward to seeing all of you on the water this year.

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gald you got it sorted out but i really dont like your points system for the fish and there i WILL NOT fish one of your tournaments. i dont think one fish should be worth more points than another in a no cull tournament. i really don't think lakers and kings should be different points as lakers can be just as challenging as kings. if i could throw back the fish i dont want then fine. just my 2 cents.

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Since you can catch up to 15 and only weigh 6 the no cull should not be a problem for many. Since it is similar to the WMFL points which lots of guys like I don't see the issue. I do thank you for the input. I don't target Lake trout as we don't eat them so to fish for them purely for a few bucks is not my style. We only caught a handfull of lakers all season cause I don't bottom fish much. If it were my choice we would not even weigh Lake trout. I don't consider them a sport fish that is my opinion Browns Steelhead and Salmon are planted as sport fish Lake trout are planted to try and replace a breed that was wiped out by mismanagement of our Great Lakes. But if you choose not to fish the events that is fine we passed out thousands of dollars worth of sponsor stuff last year and hope to do more this year. My bet is no one that fished last year lost much if any money based on what every boat got in prizes.

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Since you can catch up to 15 and only weigh 6 the no cull should not be a problem for many. Since it is similar to the WMFL points which lots of guys like I don't see the issue. I do thank you for the input. I don't target Lake trout as we don't eat them so to fish for them purely for a few bucks is not my style. We only caught a handfull of lakers all season cause I don't bottom fish much. If it were my choice we would not even weigh Lake trout. I don't consider them a sport fish that is my opinion Browns Steelhead and Salmon are planted as sport fish Lake trout are planted to try and replace a breed that was wiped out by mismanagement of our Great Lakes. But if you choose not to fish the events that is fine we passed out thousands of dollars worth of sponsor stuff last year and hope to do more this year. My bet is no one that fished last year lost much if any money based on what every boat got in prizes.

I dont typically fish lakers much either but why should someone be penalized by catching them if they get them. Lakers are just as much of a sport fish as any other. There are days that they are just as hard to get as kings. i know about that fishery as my dad used to like to fish lakers. It is just like going after salmon. yes some days it is easier to get lakers but that goes the same with kings. i just hate the points rule. i dont think it is a fair way to pick a winner it should be on the pound weight of the fish caught. i think it is absoultey absurd that a guy coming in with a nice box of kings can loose due to a guy gatting points because he gat a couple smaller steelhead taht could earn him the points to win. I saw it in the ludington tourney one year. a guy had a greater total weight then another but because the other had more fish thus scoring more point he won it. it is bulls^&*. And then having a diffent point per species is even worse yet. I will NOT fish any event having a sliding rule like that that is for actual money or big prizes. I can see it in the wmfl league a little. it is more just to get out and fish together. But you are running an actual tournament.

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We are trying to run a fun event very similar to the WMFL there is very little cash involved yes we get a lot of sponsorship much of that is due to the fact we are not a big tourney and are trying to be a middle ground between small events that don't pay enough to cover boat gas if you win and big events that pay well but cost a ton to enter. Last season total cost to fish all 5 events was 160 dollars for entry fees and every boat got between 150 and 200 dollars worth of prizes plus anything they won by fishing. Every fishery and port is different but here Lake trout are fairly easy and consistent to catch all you have to do is fish for them and once you know where they are they don't move all that much. We are really just trying to have a fun open event that guys can afford to enter and have fun. Heck I would have loved to get points for the huge sheephead we caught in 70ft of water off Duck lake last year it might have been the biggest fish caught that day.

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i guess what the main thinking was that its a fun and learning set of tourneys..thats why we dropped the no charter captain language...its open communication and who better to learn from than the guys who do it for a living...do we think a guy is gonna drop a charter to fish our event and not win enough to pay for gas..of course not but we want the option open to let them..the points system also gives the oppurtunity to learn more aspects on fishing different species of fish..we have asked a lot of people about this and never will everyone be all in agreance..but the majority of the guys are there for the fun and learning.we had a boat(you know who you are..doug :) ).that started the year struggling to bring a 10 ounce fish to the board..last event he was one of the best boxes and won big fish for the year...himself saying it was due to the people he met and the info shared thruout the year..if there is a ton of objection to the points system we will definatly look at it again..there is plenty of time before the tourneys start and as much as i would like everyone to be 100 percent happy i know that isnt going to happen..but again at this point these rules arent gospel...

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Thanks Don and Steve this was not a one person decision none of it has been. Don and I set up a 5 person committee to go over the entire event and look for ways to improve on it. I think we did pretty good last season however not without some issues. So the first thing Don and I did was agree that mistakes happen so now what can we do to be better. One thing is to be more clear on what we want this to be and that is a fun event with some friendly competition. This is not a all out battle for money or prizes and if you can't fish in a fun event without getting carried away about winning this might not be for you. There is not any plan to make this a big money event Don and I have no intention of having to send out tax forms to winners. Yes we had some very nice sponsorship and prizes and we intend on having more of the same this year. Can we guarantee you will not lose money heck no but for a lot of teams it will be a very cheap day of fishing and fun. And there is a chance a few guys will get paid to fish. Every penny of tournament money is paid out 100% all of the sponsor provided prizes are given out we keep a 10 dollar membership fee to help us with expenses which came no where near what we spent to put the events on but that does not matter neither Don nor myself had any plans of making anything for doing this. I have asked for suggestions on every fishing page I post on and got very little response. Personally one thing I like about the points per fish is if you have a bad morning you can take a chance and go after different fish.

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I get what you are trying to do with the tourney now more clearly. I was under the understanding that this was a regular tourney not similar to the WMFL. That is great you are helping people learn, and it is awesome that you are giving back to the participating boats, but I still disagree with the different points per fish. It should all be the same, which i still don't like or based on total weight. Maybe i am old fashioned but that is the way, total creel weight, tournaments have always been won till the tournament trail came along with the 10 point per fish rule. Just my 2 cents worth. Have fun with it, it sounds like you are. It can be very rewarding running tournaments or fishing shows. I grew up with it and i also know the stresses of doing so.

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The funny thing is Aaron looking the results from this season all of the money places were decided on total weight anyhow. Even if you take away points per fish the big box still won every time. In fact there were only a few places the the points had much effect. We only had a handfull of Steelhead weighed and I think I was the only one who got any browns. What we saw was a lot of guys learning to expand their fishing ability and have some fun doing it. The points system will make a lot of guys consider how they fish and perhaps teach a few how to target what they want rather than just drag lures and take whatever bites. In every event you have a few guys that are dialed in from the start and then you have guys who have to fish a bit to find a pattern and some who just don't find one. So 2 guys in a small boat might have better luck beach coming for browns. 6 Nice Browns would be tough to beat but also tough to get. I honestly think in the end it will be pretty level and if we are wrong well we can always change it back. I also think as the season progress's we will see a lot more guys that are better fishermen and can build a plan of action to get what they want rather than just what happened to be there.

Also the only way I would go for total weight would be a single species which would rule out growth rate differences for fish. Nobody shows up at a Bass tourney with a 20 lb carp and expects to win cause his fish is bigger.

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Also the only way I would go for total weight would be a single species which would rule out growth rate differences for fish. Nobody shows up at a Bass tourney with a 20 lb carp and expects to win cause his fish is bigger.

No but the thing with great lakes fishing is you are targeting trout. Be it brown steelhead salmon or lake trout. that has been the way every tournament in the state has ever been. The thing of great lakes tournaments has always been great lakes trout species only.

no i wouldnt expect to see a carp weighed at a bass tourney but they are allowed to weigh either large or small mouth bass. bass is the target just like trout are the target here.

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Agree to disagree no problem I guess from my point of view it is a Salmon tournament. The reason trout were allowed was when the limit went down to 3 per species in the 70's when there were lots of big kings around and you could catch 5 per person you seldom saw a Lake trout. When the DNR changed the limits then trout became bonus fish which people went after. With Salmon limits back up to 5 fish there is no reason to target Lake trout for contests. With a few exceptions that I will likely never catch Browns and Steelhead run smaller so the bonus points even the field a bit. In any event right now the rules are what they are.

Just a question were you planning on fishing the series next summer and the rules changed your mind or just making comments?

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Agree to disagree no problem I guess from my point of view it is a Salmon tournament. The reason trout were allowed was when the limit went down to 3 per species in the 70's when there were lots of big kings around and you could catch 5 per person you seldom saw a Lake trout. When the DNR changed the limits then trout became bonus fish which people went after. With Salmon limits back up to 5 fish there is no reason to target Lake trout for contests. With a few exceptions that I will likely never catch Browns and Steelhead run smaller so the bonus points even the field a bit. In any event right now the rules are what they are.

Just a question were you planning on fishing the series next summer and the rules changed your mind or just making comments?

I thought of trying to fish a few and the wmfl but i am still laid off and not sure how money is going to be this summer. I would love to be able to fish some contests this summer.

You asked for comments at the beginning and so i figured i would throw my 2 cents in since i have been around salmon fishing for almost 35 years now and around tourneys most of that time. My dad used to help run all the detroit steelheaders contests and he ran all the fishing shows on the other side of the state at one time (steelheaders). We fished all the money tourneys back in the day.

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Cool, Honestly best I can tell is come out and give it a try. If you honestly can say it sucked and you had no fun at all I'll give you your entry fee back out of my pocket. All we are trying to do is have some fun and promote what we feel is a great fishery. Down the road a ways I would love to toss in some fun twists like adding a 30min perch fishing window who knows. Or setting up a slam prize for best mixed box only one fish per species but that will all come in time. for now we made a few changes and have to see what it works like before we can say if it was a great idea or not. But first and foremost this is nothing like the cutthroat tourneys we fished back in the day.

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I only fished one last year and it was a great time. I really like the best 5 out of 7 tournaments and only 6 fish. This keeps it a very level playing field.

hey rob..it was great having you swoop in and wipe us out:grin:i hope to see you again in 2011..have a great winter

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I only fished one last year and it was a great time. I really like the best 5 out of 7 tournaments and only 6 fish. This keeps it a very level playing field.

I like this also. It gives a team the opportunity to miss an event and still have a chance to be the points champ. :thumb:

My boat is in storage in Muskegon, and I am not sure whats going to happen in 2011. hhhmmmmmm........

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Jim,

we had a good time fishing the tournaments last year. I read the rules you posted for next year and i am ok with any rules you make. I do have a problem with this rule:

"No slipping boats at the launch if you use a slip you must make arrangements to take care of your boat and be on time."

We had no issues that i know of last year being tied to the dock for 30 minutes during weigh in. i slip on the opposite side of the lake which is a 20 minutes by vehicle (and 20 back). I dont think i will participate this year unless this rule is re-worded.

Bill

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